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Feb 14, 2007 11:15 AM


I'd like to attempt making this delicious dessert that I tried the other night at a Greek restaurant in Astoria Queens.

The recipe seems simple enough, but I'd like to make it healthier by using skim milk, light butter, egg whites and possibily SOME sugar substitute.

Obviously, this will change the taste of the recipe, and I'm wondering 1) will it greatly alter the consistency of the custard and 2) do you think the authenticity of the taste would be greatly compromised by all of these changes?

TIA for your help.

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  1. I will be happy to post my recipe for galactoboureko for you. However, I doubt that it will be good if you substitute .Mine is made with whole milk, semolina eggs and sugar. I butter the sheets of phyllo.When it comes out of the oven I pour over a syrup of sugar and water, cooked with a bit of lemon peel and some brandy. I learned this from my mil in Greece and it is delicious. I have never used "light butter" so I have no idea what it would taste like. possibly you can use skim milk. However, there is no way sugar substitute will work.

    1 Reply
    1. re: emilief

      I would love the recipe if you could post it. Full fat/calorie version, please.:-)

    2. That will definitely change the custard since you can't make custard without the yolks. You could experiment with using agar agar or perhaps even cornstarch as a thickener if you want to avoid the yolks, but it would definitely have a completely different taste and consistency. The only thing I would change would be to use Splenda and "light" butter. I have had no problems substituting splenda in making custards and the "light" butter should still give you the taste you want in the phyllo.

      1. I think this is one of those dishes that you make very infrequently because it's only good when it's decadent. I didn't even know "light" butter existed (is it like margarine?).

        If you want to lighten the dessert without sticking to authenticity, use your subs to turn the custard into a pudding (with cornstarch to thicken). Freeze the pudding, slice it, wrap in phyllo and bake. Or, make phyllo cups and spoon the pudding into them with some lemon zest on top.

        You could probably sub Splenda in a custard, but you'd need real sugar for the syrup coating anyway.

        1. Galactoboureko

          One quart whole milk
          3/4 cup semolina
          5 eggs
          1/4 cup sugar
          vanilla to taste
          3 tbsp butter

          1 lb phyllo pastry
          1/2 lb melted butter

          2 cups sugar
          2 cups water
          slice lemon peel
          1 tsp lemon juice
          splash of brandy

          bring the milk to a boil. Add semolina stirring constantly until it thickens, like cream of wheat. Beat eggs, sugar and vanilla together until thick and creamy. Remove pan from heat and stir in the egg mixture. Add the 3 tbsp of butter and mix. allow to cool stirring occasionally to prevent a skin from forming.

          Butter a rectangular pan (I use 9x13 pyrex) slightly smaller than phyllo. Line with half the phyllo, buttering each sheets separately with melted butter. Spread the semolina filling evenly and turn edges of the pastry to enclose the filling. Cover with the reamining phyllo, buttering each sheet seperately. With a sharp knife, cut off the surplus pastry and score the top layers of phyllo into triangular serving pieces (electric knife works best). Brush the top with butter and bake in 375 oven for 35-40 minutes. While it is baking, boil the sugar, water, lemon juice, lemon peel until syrupy. Then add splash of brandy to taste.Pour syrup over the galactoboureko when it comes out of the oven. This is best served on the day it is made as it gets soggy thereafter.

          1 Reply
          1. I've also been trying to come up with a lower fat/lower cholesterol version of this dessert. What worked for me was using a spray oil between that layers of phyllo. It does make for a drier pastry, but the syrup will compensate for that after it cools. I've made it with 2% milk, and use only 1 Tbs of fat in the custard (I substitute macademia oil as it has a somewhat buttery taste, but any neutral oil should work). I've been happy with these results, but when I tried substituting egg whites for half of the eggs, the change in texture was just too conspicuous.
            I hope that this helps.